I couldn't tell if the car was on or off
As one of two Toronto Star employees assigned to take the Project Green electric cars to the Green Living Show last weekend, I drove the Nissan Leaf.
As I had never driven an electric car before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Right off, it felt a bit strange because it was so quiet. It was hard to tell if it was on or off.
I’m used to driving my own cars when they are very low on fuel and so I know what to expect and how far I can drive, even with the gas light on. But I was a bit unsure with the Leaf, as the videographers had been driving it around for much of the day last Friday. I didn’t know how far I would be able to go with the battery partially drained, even though the car was telling me that I would be fine.
When I arrived at the Green Living Show, in the Direct Energy Centre building at the CNE, we had to jockey the cars in and around the Star booth in order to fit them in. So I had to get in and out of the car to make sure it was positioned correctly and I was able to do all that with ease.
After I left the Direct Energy Centre, I got thinking about the car and the fact that I didn’t have to use the key to start it; I just had to push a button and it turned on. I also thought again about how quiet the car was and that it was hard to tell if the car was on or off.
Suddenly I thought: did I turn the car off? What would happen if I didn’t? Would the battery run out? If I walked away from the car with the key fob in my pocket, would it just turn off automatically? I didn’t know.
So I went back – and guess what? The car was off.
– Brian Cordingley